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A New Direction for “The Education of a Writer” Series

BiblioclasmAs of late, I’ve been giving a lot of thought of where I want to take The Education of a Writer (TEW) series. Here’s the deal …

I’ve lost touch with the story. The arc. How it should end.

I don’t want this to be an episodic, bumpy read. I want it to be seamless from start to finish … especially since I’ve taken you through a decade of my professional life in a short period of time. In other words, I’m not sure how to tie the first post (The Year of Falling Apart) with the last (yet unknown), and I need to figure that out before I go on.

The last post should’ve arrived several weeks ago according to my original plan. But we all know what can happen when plans hit the pavement … like I keep on thinking of more things to share, and still … gaps remain.

Stories that I’ve written in the past should be included in the full story. Stories like:

The Best Thing You Could Do Right Now to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

Writing Advice from a Rock Climber, Monk, and Bonehead — Really? 

How to Outsmart Obsolescence

A Quick and Dirty Guide to Killing Your Life-Long Dream

How to Cope with Co-Workers Who Hate to Be Touched

The Creative Freelancer’s Guide to Melancholy

Yet I don’t want to force them to fit.

So here’s my next move. I’m going to gather all of the TEW posts, put them in a Word document, and bind and shape them into an integrated book. Hopefully dealing with it as a whole will allow me to see my way to the end. I want to close as well as I opened.

That means no more TEW posts until I discover the end. Then I’ll start sharing the new posts. Possibly.

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Image source: A-Z of Unusual Words

The “D” Word Scares the Daylights Out of Me

Sorry Broken

The fifteenth post in The Education of a Writer (TEW) series. 

The other shoe finally dropped.

The one behind the culminating self-absorption. The building of mistakes.  The growing sense of superiority as a writer. Who I am. I am Robert Collier. Full of self. Full of pleasure in the destruction of everything but my own writing. The sadism of self. Of courting attention from the wrong people. [Read more...]

I Thought I Was the Next Robert Collier

Robert Collier

The tenth post in The Education of a Writer (TEW) series. 

The first office I had was the size of a hot tub.

To be honest, it was more foyer than office since I sat by the front door and you had to walk by my desk to get to the boss’ office. So I guess I should say my first foyer was the size of a hot tub.

The offices were in a shoddy building constructed by a company notorious for being drunk and building homes over known sink holes … [Read more...]

How I Was Cured of Ever Wanting to Write Poetry Again

Crashing Plane

The ninth post in The Education of a Writer (TEW) series. 

Call me lazy. I go where the jobs are. I go where the path offers least resistance. I go where the data indicates. That data being my feelings of wanting to land a job, and then get back to life …

To what I love (poetry). That was my attitude back then. Towards career. Towards life.

Here is how I left the job with the television evangelist: I asked a close friend to review my resume. I said I needed to find greener pastures. My last raise — after 18 months — was for 17 cents an hour. That’s like I earned less than a penny an hour for each month I was there. If I was going to provide for my family, I was going to need more than that. [Read more...]

Life as a Copy Cub with a Television Evangelist


The eight post in The Education of a Writer (TEW) series. 

You’re not going to get her name out of me. Only her dress. The prom dress. And the big hair. The powder-white columns on the stage. The elaborate arrangement of purple and pink fabric flowers. The see-through plexiglass pulpit — all dragged around the country in a caravan of trailers twenty-four times a year to cities like Allegheny and Gallup.

That’s all you’re going to get out of me. [Read more...]

Want a Potent Personal Mission Statement? Try Rimmerman’s Unique Method


There are so many good things to pull out of this fascinating article about wine salesman Jon Rimmerman in the New York Times article Drunk with Power.

Rimmerman is the founder of Garagiste and the author of one of the most popular email newsletters on wine.

His meandering missives are part salesmanship in print, part trivia junk-drawer on topics like vintage 1960s tube amplifiers or 100k bike rides in the high-hills of France (after two bottles of Beaujolais).

His fans call his daily emails “crack.”

But it’s his method for crafting a mission statement (or mantra) that deserves particular attention: [Read more...]

Work: A 13-Part Guide to Earning a Living for Dreamers, Loafers and People Who Just Plain-Old Don’t Fit In

Image credit: Vin Zzep

Sleeping on your mother’s couch is not what it’s cracked up to be. Especially if you are a middle-aged man. This is why getting a job is a great idea. With a job you can buy your own couch, have it delivered to your own house and sleep on it on your own time (just make sure you wake up early enough to get to work).

Having your own couch in your own house has other perks, too. [Read more...]

Because You Don’t Know the Difference Between Entrepreneur and Freelancer

Buildings and Mountains

Buildings  and Mountains by Parallelish

Long ago I used to think that I was an entrepreneur. I thought it was enough to quit your job and work for yourself to call yourself an entrepreneur. That illusion was destroyed when I ran into some real entrepreneurs. [Read more...]

A Fast and Frugal Guide on the Problem of Giving Advice


I could give you the best formula for writing sales ads. I could share with you David Sedaris’ tricks to writing seductive first sentences. I could hand you a cheat sheet for hypnotic storytelling.

But it does’t matter. [Read more...]

How to Properly Carve Out a Career

Dream Job

Simple. Imagine where you want to end. And then work backwards.

Those steps are your career map. [Read more...]